Eucapocalypts Now at You Are Here festival

“Eucapocalypts Now” is a poetry play written by myself and Aaron Kirby in response to the Dark Mountain manifesto. The show was in development for a year, and perhaps it still is. We’re both stoked with the most recent iteration at the You Are Here festival in Canberra.

The cats at YAH have a great media team, and they recorded the performance with stills and video. Check it out the photos by Adam Thomas, and this video by Shane Parsons.

Review of poem ‘This one is true’ and Grapple

The Grapple Annual 1 has been reviewed on WritersBloc by Katelin Farnsworth.

This is what she said about my poem This one is true:

Poet Eleanor Malbon offers a heartbreaking poem This one is true. (December 25th) Such sad, striking images that linger long after you’ve read it. Please read it! I had goosebumps. Taking place on Christmas Day, it follows a young homeless man who is picked up from the side of the road. It recounts the conversation that takes place between the man and the narrator. I love the way the poet weaves visuals in and out of it, the way she uses language and the short, snappy sentences.

With an excerpt from This one is true:

‘and I tell him it’s Christmas
he tells me he forgot

politely, he asks what I did today

lunch with the family, wine and cricket in the arvo

when I stop the car he asks

and I give him all the change in my wallet

I don’t have any notes
it’s raining tonight’

Poem in Grapple Annual 1

Grapple Publishing have chosen one of my poems for publication in The Grapple Annual 1.

The poem is titled ‘This one is true’ and it is a true story of picking up a hitch-hiker on Hindmarsh drive on December 25th. This poem is a part of an evolving collection of poems about living in Weston Creek between 1991 and 2012.

The Grapple Annual is an anthology arranged by date, and you can buy it online.

Grapple Annual Eleanor Malbon December 25

Podcast on The Writers Bloc

Farz Edraki made a very comfortable space in a friend’s bedroom to interview me for her podcast “Writers Workspace Series”. For this series she speaks to writers about the spaces that they write in and their writing process. You can listen here. 

I haven’t been on the Writers Bloc website before, but it seems like the sort of website an emerging writer dreams of. You can become a member and then post your developing pieces online to be commented on and edited by other writers in the community. Seems like a great thing!

Trying to find a title for Eliya’s photography exhibition




Photo by Eliya Nikki Cohen

Trying to find a title for Eliya’s photography exhibition

being there when you were

being there when you were there

we all went camping

we all went walking

naked bodies

off the track

smoke and bodies

smokin’ bodies

circular bodies

phat naked bodies with a ph

disco Poseidon

juice yourself

money city sick as fuck

it was about you

you chose a different life but it was the same

we were twenty-something

we are still twenty-something and raging

it was the first time I lit a smoke bomb

almost otherworldly

there was this pregnant woman eating a pomegranate

it wouldn’t have happened, you know, if we didn’t go out there

feet slip on leaves and dirt

not quite here

almost here

we were all alone in the forest together

last time I looked

the exhibition was called “we all went walking”


WOOL at In Canberra Tonight

November 2013

Amelia and I jumped at the opportunity to be involved in the In Canberra Tonight’s show based on The Future.

We did a short performance called WOOL. We ended by tossing balls of wool into the audience to simulate the sorts of messy tangles of thought that we can find ourselves in when we attempt to think about a realistic future, for ourselves or on a larger scale like for Australia. For me this performance was part of the development of Will and Charlotte, which will be a longer exploration into perceptions of the future.

Photo by Adam Thomas
Photo by Adam Thomas

In WOOL we gave a quick overview of systems thinking and modelling, and I’ve put an excerpt of the script below.

“Our memories and our imagination give us our history of the future. When scientists think about the future, they do the same thing.

Modelling a given system, like a city or a food producing area, is a way that groups of scientists explore what may change in the future.

A model is a mental or formal representation of reality that we use to generate possible scenarios about the future. Whenever we consider the past to anticipate behaviours in the future, we are modeling to make the predictions necessary for decision making.

Modelling has helped us to understand the connection between rising CO2 levels and global temperatures, global yields and biodiversity loss.

Or when Miley’s writing team gets together, they have a system to write a pop song that sells.

Modelling is a way to make a reliable scenario of future behaviour, in order to help us make better decisions about our behaivour into the future.”

* I took my definition of modelling from a great paper by Fabio Boschetti and others.

I learnt that I perform better when I have the main points firmly in my mind and then ad-lib the precise sentences. I’ve got a lot of practice speaking this way from running tutorials at the uni. I tried writing down the precise sentences, but I found that I can forget them easily, get confused and loose my place. It’s better for me to just be clear about what I want to say and then go for it.

I want my next piece Will an Charlotte to look at similar themes of The Future – how we think about it and what is most likely – but I particularly want W&Ch to be more interactive for audience members, something closer to a discussion where ideas are explicitly coming from the audience.

We also heard from Dr. John Finnigan who is the head of Complex Systems Science at CSIRO. He was talking about one of my favourite research projects at the moment, Australia 2050. The idea of this project, among other things, is to start a series of public conversations about Australia’s future. I’ve got a lot of respect for projects that aim to support scientifically grounded conversations such as this. I didn’t make it to their workshop late last year, but you can read David Finnigan’s musings on it here.